Friday 18

George Bush continues to insist there will be no new taxes, but up on Capitol Hill even Republican whip Robert Dole warns that the country is headed for an economic downswing unless new revenues are found. Dr. George Kalidonis, a political and economic analyst, will address the future of the Bush administration in The Election and the Economy: Implications for Chicago Businesses, a lecture-luncheon at the O’Hare Marriott Hotel, 8535 W. Higgins. Registration and cocktails begin at 11:30 AM, followed by the program at noon. Tickets are $15 for members of the North Business and Industrial Council, $20 for nonmembers. For reservations call 588-5855.

“As a reader, I am especially sensitive to a poem’s sonic, visual, and intellectual designs,” says Heather McHugh, the author of Shades, To the Quick, and Dangers. As a writer McHugh transforms the most minute details into powerful episodes of sheer energy. At a reading her between-poem banter is pretty amusing. She’ll be reading tonight at 8 at the Poetry Center, School of the Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. It’s $5, $4 for students and seniors; SAIC students get in free. For more call 443-3700.

Saturday 19

“I worry sometimes,” says Lyn, the overtherapized feminist in Lily Tomlin’s The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. “Maybe Bob has gotten too much in touch with his feminine side. Last night, I’m pretty sure, he faked an orgasm.” Written and directed by Jane Wagner, Tomlin’s longtime partner in life and work, the Broadway smash ends its Chicago run tonight at the shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe. Show times are 2 and 7:30. Tickets range from $17.50 to $37.8O. Call 977-1710 for more.

Does an artist’s material belong to his or her family, or to the world? That’s the theme of The Aspern Papers, Philip Hagemann’s newest opera, which premieres tonight at Northwestern University in a performance by the Edith Mason and William E. Ragland Opera Theater. The opera is based on the Henry James novella of the same name. Performances are at 8 tonight and at 3 on Sunday at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St. in Evanston. Tickets range from $7 to $12.50. For details call 491-5441.

Sunday 20

In most homes one of the refrigerator’s most noble tasks is to serve as family bulletin board–a fact that has propelled the common cooling unit into the spotlight in The Refrigerator Door Show. Conceived and curated by Michael Lash, the exhibit features 18 area artists who have incorporated fridge doors into their works. It also features a “mail-in” component for artists who just want to send in drawings. The free show runs through December 18 at the Hyde Park Art Center, 1701 E. 53rd St. Gallery hours are 11 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 Sunday. Call 324-5520.

“It was just like this was preordained to be,” says Ronald Ebens, the unemployed white autoworker who, with his stepson, battered a young Chinese-American to death with a baseball bat in 1982. This and other gripping scenes make up the documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin?, which tells how Ebens and Michael Nitz got away with what the Asian community contends was a racially motivated murder. Ebens and Nitz got three years’ probation and a $3,700 fine. The film screens today at 4 at the Illinois Institute of Technology auditorium, 3300 S. Federal. The showing is a benefit for 14 local Asian-American organizations and will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. Admission is $25. For more call Joy Yamasaki at 871-1983.

Chili Pepper, Shante, and the rest of the “girls” at the Baton Show Lounge endeavor to create elegant images through poise and illusion. But at Berlin’s Drag Race ’89, outrageousness is the first order of the day. Boys will be girls beginning at 11 PM. Stick around until 12:30 AM and you may be the winner of the raffle drawing for airfare to West Berlin and Eurail passes for two. You have to be present to win. Raffle tickets are free all week at the bar, 954 W. Belmont, and there’s no cover tonight. Call 348-4975 for more.

Monday 21

It’s only fitting that Harold Washington’s good friend Dempsey Travis, who grew up with Washington, should write the first book on the late mayor–there are at least two more coming, one by former press secretary Alton Miller and another by the Reader’s Gary Rivlin. In Harold: The People’s Mayor, Travis traces Washington’s career from his days as a DuSable High School student to the now mythological Council Wars. Travis will talk about his late pal and his new book in a free lecture at 2 today–in commemoration of the first anniversary of Washington’s death–in the Sullivan Room at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan. Travis and Washington graduated from Roosevelt in the late 40s. Call 341-3510 for more.

Tuesday 22

The lute, which reached its peak of popularity in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s, probably came from the Orient. A challenge for any player, it has six pairs of strings that help create its unique sound. The Collegium Musicum of the University of Chicago puts the lute on center stage today when it presents English Music for Lute and Strings, a free noon concert under the direction of Eric Hansen. It takes place in Goodspeed Recital Hall, 5845 S. Ellis. Call 702-8484 for more information.

Ultra Violet, one of Andy Warhol’s many underground “superstars,” writes that when she visited Warhol in 1968 after a murder attempt by a militant feminist, he complained that his thunder was stolen by the assassination of Bobby Kennedy three days later. “If Kennedy had been shot at a different time,” he lamented, “I would have gotten all the publicity.” It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s one of many in Ultra Violet’s Famous for Fifteen Minutes: My Years With Andy Warhol, a tell-all book on one of contemporary art’s most controversial purveyors. Ultra Violet will share more juicy tidbits and sign copies of her book at 6 PM at Unabridged Books, 3251 N. Broadway. It’s free. Call 883-9119 for more.

Wednesday 23

Representatives from different religious communities–including the Catholic archdiocese, Buddhist Council of the Midwest, Sikh Religious Society, and Muslim Community Centers–will come together today in an Interfaith Thanksgiving Observance: Vision of One . . . Reflection of Many. The service will also commemorate Religious Liberty Day, the anniversary of the UN declaration against religious intolerance. There will also be a memorial to the late Mayor Harold Washington. It starts at noon at Chicago Temple First United Methodist Church, 77 W. Washington. It’s free. Call 236-9272 for details.

Sure, the big names like Liza Minnelli, Andrea Marcovicci, and Bobby Short get top billing and some of the loudest last-minute publicity in town. But one of the best things about the Gold Star Sardine Bar–that little deuce coupe of a jazz club on the lakefront–is Patti Barber, the regular ol’ weekday pianist. Whether it’s a standard, a new hit, or an original, Barber’s touch is well worth hearing. She plays 7 to midnight Tuesday through Thursday, 8 to 1 on Friday, and Saturday 9 to 2. The club’s at 680 N. Lake Shore Drive. There’s no cover, but you must buy at least one drink. Call 664-4215.

Thursday 24

For the last 12 years, Matt Deletioglu, a Turkish immigrant, has served free Thanksgiving dinner at his Clark Street restaurants to anyone who didn’t have a place to spend the holidays. It’s a loud and lively experience, and Matt’s way of saying thanks to America. This year will be no different; his Garden Gyros Restaurant, 2621 N. Clark, will open its doors to the public at 11 AM, with food for all until supplies are exhausted. For more information call 935-3100.

Director Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, the first Western film to be shot inside China’s Forbidden City, swept the technical Oscars as well as the big prize for film of the year. Today’s screening begins at 7:30 PM at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport. Tickets are $4.50. Call 871-6604.